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Asia Stocks Mixed on Trade Volleys; Kiwi Slumps: Markets Wrap

Asian stocks traded mixed as China hit back against the Trump administration’s latest tariffs and tensions ratcheted up between the U.S. and Russia. The yen edged higher, while oil held on to its losses. Shares fell in Japan and South Korea, fluctuated in Hong Kong, and pushed higher in China and Australia. Treasuries added to gains made as investors scooped up a record $26 billion 10-year auction. The kiwi tumbled to a two-year low after the New Zealand central bank pushed out its forecast for a rate increase by a…

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The Accused Russian Agent as Trump Republican

Here are some things we know about Maria Butina. She is a 29-year-old white woman with an enthusiasm for guns who has attended multiple National Rifle Association events, socialized with NRA leaders and repeated NRA talking points. She attended Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's 2015 announcement seeking the Republican nomination for president, and later supported Republican Donald Trump for president. She attended the National Prayer Breakfast, a Republican gathering place, in Washington this year.    Butina published an grifter that is a According to Dusty Johnson, a South Dakota Republican and…

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Haley Defends U.S. Decision to Quit UN’s Human Rights Council

Ambassador Nikki Haley defended the U.S. decision to quit the United Nations Human Rights Council last month as a stand against “political corruption and moral bankruptcy” and the organization’s “anti-Israel bias.” “The United States provided the last shred of credibility that the council had, but that was precisely why we withdrew,” Haley said Wednesday at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. In June, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Haley announced the U.S. decision after the council passed a resolution denouncing Israeli settlements as a “flagrant violation” of human rights. In…

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Charles Krauthammer, Prominent Conservative Voice, Has Died

New York (AP) — Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and pundit who helped shape and occasionally dissented from the conservative movement as he evolved from "Great Society" Democrat to Iraq War cheerleader to denouncer of Donald Trump, died Thursday. He was 68. His death was announced by two organizations that were longtime employers, Fox News Channel and The Washington Post. Krauthammer had said publicly a year ago he was being treated for a cancerous tumor in his abdomen and earlier this month revealed that he likely had just weeks…

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TrumpsHomeland Security Secretary Defends His Family Separation Policy

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called on Congress to change laws she said force the government to separate immigrant children from parents who cross the U.S. border unlawfully and called Democrats who say the Trump administration is using the controversy for political leverage “very cowardly.” Nielsen both defended President Donald Trump’s family separation policy at a White House briefing on Monday and maintained that it wasn’t his creation, but rather a consequence of the government’s prosecution of immigrants apprehended illegally crossing the border. “Parents who entered illegally are, by definition,…

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Manafort Heads to Jail After Judge Faults Witness Tampering

Paul Manafort was sent to jail Friday by a federal judge who said she couldn’t turn a blind eye to claims that he attempted to tamper with witnesses, adding pressure on President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager to cooperate with a U.S. probe of Russian election meddling. U.S. authorities immediately took Manafort into custody and escorted him out of a packed courtroom, with his wife looking on. The dramatic turn means that Manafort will have to prepare for two federal trials in the coming weeks — one in Washington, and…

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Mueller Releases Secret Memo Underpinning Manafort Probe

Rosenstein gave Mueller authority to look at Ukrainian work Manafort claims that Mueller overstepped his appointment Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort by releasing a secret government memorandum granting him authority to investigate crimes related to Manafort’s political consulting work for former President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine. Mueller is using the memo to refute Manafort’s claims that prosecutors went too far by investigating crimes beyond Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Prosecutors released the memo just before midnight on Monday, arguing that Manafort can’t legally challenge his indictment for financial…

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Gates Guilty Plea Strengthens Muellers Hand Against Manafort

As the newest cooperator for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Rick Gates gives prosecutors a powerful weapon in pursuing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and possible election collusion with Russia. Gates, who pleaded guilty Friday in Washington, was Manafort’s right-hand man and worked with him for a decade in his political consulting firm lobbying on behalf of Ukraine before joining him on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. Gates also remained on the Trump campaign after Manafort resigned in August 2016, and he helped plan Trump’s inauguration. In a victory…

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Trumps Lawyer Brokered $130,000 Payment to Adult Film Star, WSJ Reports

Washington (AP) — President Donald Trump's personal lawyer brokered a $130,000 payment to a porn actress to prevent her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, according to a report Friday in The Wall Street Journal. Trump met Stephanie Clifford, whose goes by the name Stormy Daniels in films, at a golf event in 2006 — a year after Trump's marriage to his wife, Melania. According to the Journal's report, Clifford began talking with ABC News in the fall of 2016 for a story involving an alleged relationship…

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Senator Calls Trumps Denial of Shithole Comment Not True

A key Democratic senator who was at the Oval Office meeting on immigration said President Donald Trump’s denial that he called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” is “not true” and that Trump made the “vile and racist” comments. “He said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist,” Senator Dick Durbin, of Illinois, who was at the meeting, told reporters Friday morning. “I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that oval office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president…

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2018 Feels Ripe for Big Unexpected Crisis, Eurasia Group Says

This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, Eurasia Group warned in its annual outlook. Describing global political challenges as “daunting,” the New York-based political risk consultancy said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis — the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown — it feels like 2018." The biggest uncertainty surrounds China’s move to fill a vacuum as U.S. influence continues to decline, stoking tensions between the two powers, it said. That’s likely to…

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Kim Jong Un Says Nuclear Button to Hit U.S. Always on My Desk

Kim Jong Un repeated claims that he could hit the U.S. with a nuclear weapon, saying that its deterrent is “irreversible” and would prevent President Donald Trump from starting a war. Kim also said he planned to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month, Yonhap News reported, even as he called for mass production of nuclear warheads. South Korean television stations stopped broadcasting the speech before it ended. “It’s reality, not a threat, that the nuclear button is always on my desk,” Kim said in…

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One Tax Loophole Untouched So Far: The Trump Golf-Course Break

Republican lawmakers pushing to close dozens of tax loopholes have left open one that’s been good to President the outline for a sweeping tax rewrite on Thursday, a lucrative break for golf-course owners — including the president — remains firmly in place in the House version of the measure. The Obama administration estimated in 2014 that closing the controversial loophole would save more than $600 million over a decade. While Republicans are eliminating many write-offs, the House version of the bill allows golf-course owners to claim deductions for promising never to…

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Three Trump Associates Charged in Russia Collusion Probe

The federal investigation into whether President Read the full indictment here The accusations arrive after a months-long probe into possible crimes including obstruction of justice by Trump and other crimes by his associates. The Read more: Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga Manafort, 68, has been targeted by Mueller for months. A top Republican strategist who also worked extensively for foreign politicians, he left Trump’s campaign after only a few months in 2016. He departed after information surfaced about his work in Ukraine for a pro-Russian party, which intensified…

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Yellen Calls Inflation the ‘Biggest Surprise’ in the Economy

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that the U.S. central bank expects to continue to raise interest rates gradually as solid growth, a strong labor market and a healthy global economy lift prices even as she recognized that inflation has been surprisingly low.  “My best guess is that these soft readings will not persist, and with the ongoing strengthening of labor markets, I expect inflation to move higher next year,” Yellen said Sunday at the Group of Thirty’s Annual International Banking Seminar in Washington. Yellen’s term expires in February and…

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